Gambia: 'Journalists, government are partners in Gambia's development' - Minister

Banjul, Gambia (PANA) - Gambian Minister of Information, Communication and Infrastructure  Demba Ali Jawo on Wednesday told scribes in the west African country "the most ideal form of a regulatory framework for the media is self–regulation.”

Speaking at a symposium, organised by local journalists in Banjul to mark World Press Freedom Day, Jawo said his ministry is pursuing promulgation of a media regulatory framework because it is Gambia's constitutional requirement to set up a national media commission.

"Whatever form of framework that we eventually come up with, will have been extensively discussed with all the stakeholders, particularly the Gambia Press Union and the final document will be the joint property of all," the minister assured.

"Priorities of the country's new government include national reconciliation, institutional reform and revamping of the economy, and the importance of the media’s role in such a process is immeasurable.

“This government sees journalists as partners in development rather than as adversaries, as was the case in the recent past,” Jawo said, indicating that his ministry also intends to pursue the media law reform.

“It is a well-known fact that some of our laws are not media-friendly and, therefore, our national goal is to reform them and bring them in line with best practices in other parts of the world,” he added.

Meanwhile, Attila Lajos, European Union Ambassador to Gambia, said quality journalism enables citizens to make informed decisions about their society and their contribution to development.

"Press freedom is not just about human rights, it’s also about good business. No company would want to invest in a country where the government can shut down the internet at any time," he added.

Suleiman Braimah, executive director of the Accra-based Media Foundation for West Africa affirmed that his organisation will continue to support Gambia's media.
-0- PANA MSS/AR 3May2017  

03 may 2017 18:55:01

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